Boatico answers the most frequently asked questions about internet connection onboard. We also give you a solution on how to choose the right mobile internet provider when sailing abroad.
- Do I have internet on a boat at all?
- Three options to have internet connection when sailing
- Short technical info about the mobile services
- The best solution for a cheaper and stable Internet connection
- How to choose the mobile operator?
To have a stable internet connection while sailing is important for almost all of our customers. The youngsters need it for their social media and video streaming, the digital nomads for their ongoing work and the profi sailors for their navigation apps and the wind forecast. In the end, in risky situations like bad weather, need of medical help or technical issues it is safer to have an intact internet connection.
Do I have internet on a boat at all?
The answer is YES, but only if you stay close enough to land!
The quality of the connection can vary a lot depending on the local mobile provider, the coveridge it has and the device you are using. If you plan to sail longer distances, far away from land, you will not have any mobile connection. In this case the radio is your only friend.
Three options to have internet connection when sailing
- A lot of the yacht charter companies already offer an Internet on board via WiFi. This is an additional service and have to be paid on the base ( 20-40 Euro, depending on the country and the boat operator )
- The second option is your own data on the mobile phone. Depending on what contract you have and which operator is partnering in the country you are sailing in, the result can vary a lot. Not really useful in case of high roaming costs or not enough mobile data.
- Based on our own sailing experience abroad it is best to use a MiFi and buy a local prepaid card for the internet data.
Short technical info about the mobile services
There are three different coveridge services in each country – GSM, 3G and LTE. With the GSM coverage you can only use your mobile phone for outgoing and incoming calls or very low data service. When a 3G connection is provided you can use your mobile Internet data. If there is LTE coverage in the region you are sailing in, you will have a powerful internet and can make calls via WhatsApp, Viber or VOIP Services, still limited by the volume of data you have available.
The best solution for a cheaper and stable Internet connection
In countries with roaming fees or when your mobile operator is cooperating with a local operator with bad network coverage, we recommend you to buy your own MiFi device before your trip.
Then buy a prepaid mobile card for it when you arrive at the airport or in the town where you will start the sailing trip. The big question here is which provider is the best for the sailing area you have chosen?
How to choose the mobile operator when buying a prepaid card for my MiFi device?
Based on a lot of international sailing trips and bad experiences with prepaid cards, we have found the best solution when choosing the mobile operator. We highly recommend you to check the mobile network coverage before the trip. Check this webpage: https://www.gsma.com/coverage/
1 – Choose the country first and test the local providers in the right menu.
2 – Below, you will see right away who has the better service.
3. Even if you decide not to take a MiFi with you and buy a local card for it, you still can check the internet connections ( GSM / 3G / LTE ) and see where you will have good service or no service at all.
Conclusion in this case:
The SW coast of Turkey is better covered by Turkcell, then other competitors. 3G coverage is very good, Don’t rely on LTE.
Ready to sail away?
We live in a new era of permanent social connection and a growing tribe of digital nomads. A stable and fast internet connection while sailing is something inevitable. Now, after you know how to organize yours – Explore our Yacht Charters and proceed to booking!